Makarewa Headwaters Catchment Group

Covers the Lora and Otapiri Gorges water catchment area east of State Highway 96, and includes the landscapes where the Otapiri, Lora and Makarewa streams rise.


Alexis Wadworth
021 225 9677 

Mark Thomson


Group coordinator

Sarah Thorne

Number of members in the CG

40 and growing

Date the Catchment Group started

May 2019

Types of people in the group

Dairy, sheep & beef, community and schools. All are welcome.

Projects completed

  • Field day and woolshed discussion on the new National Environmental Standards (NES) for Freshwater
  •  Learning about the health of the Lora Gorge and Otapiri Gorge waterways
  • Stream health visit and investigation of Otapiri Stream with Limehills School

Projects underway

Makarewa Headwaters native plant nursery and seed propagation event – 26 February

Projects planned

Short-term goals – 12 months

  • Water testing
  • Study of broader ecological conditions – plant, insect and aquatic life
  • Testing cattle vs ducks
  • Slow moving river and global warming - what impact is this having on the nutrient?
  • Involve subject matter experts to explain what the test results mean
  • Connecting the community - shared space
  •  Research into impact of deer and pigs on catchment – native bush regeneration, soil impact etc. 
  • Gaining understanding of what makes our river system unique

Hosted events / meetings

  1. Lots of regular meetings with interesting topics and presentations. Learning all about the Lora and Otapiri Gorges water quality was the topic of their last meeting with a great presentation from Justin Kitto (one of DairyNZ's Water Quality Specialists) on water quality and ecosystem health, and how we impact them. Overall a great discussion with lots of questions from attendees.
  2. Field day and woolshed discussion on the new National Environmental Standards (NES) for Freshwater - held on 27 October with Corina Jordan, Environmental Strategy Manager for B+LNZ. Looked at the practical aspects of the new legislation and possible on-farm solutions.
  3. Otapiri Stream health - Investigated stream health with Limehills School using the SHMAK kit on 8 December.

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